GI Health Panel: Patient Overview
Mode of Transmission and Who is At Risk
The predominant method of transmission of parasites is the fecal–oral route through
hand contact with infected individuals or via contaminated water and food. Many
parasites are highly transmissible within a household environment. All family members
should be tested if one member is positive for GI infection.
People with suppressed immunity—such as T-cell (white cell) dysfunction and defects
in intestinal antibody (IgA) secretion—are predisposed to protracted and heavy infections
with GI pathogens. Individuals with cancer and those receiving chemotherapy for
cancer are very susceptible to parasitic infections. Frequent and excessive overutilization
of antibiotics renders the GI tract more susceptible to chronic overgrowth of harmful
microorganisms. These can produce a wide range of systemic toxins and/or cause severe
irritation of large areas of fragile, nutrient-absorbing intestinal tissue.
Bodily Functions Affected by GI Pathogens
Intestinal pathogen infections cannot be clinically differentiated solely on the
basis of medical history, physical exam and/or symptoms. Specific diagnosis requires
laboratory evaluation and confirmation. In most laboratories the general request
for stool ova and parasite screening does not include the specialized testing and
confirmation provided by the GI Health Panel™. Asymptomatic, mild symptomatic and
overt GI pathogen infections can affect and deter gastrointestinal function and,
if undetected, will lead to chronic illness.
Treatment and Prevention
Detection and specific diagnosis of the pathogens, including a broad spectrum of
microflora and common parasites, is of paramount importance. This is because successful
therapy is dependent on two primary issues. First, there must be an accurate and
specific diagnosis of the causative agent in a patient who presents with otherwise
general and non-specific complaints and symptoms. Second, specific therapeutic agents
can be targeted to eradicate offending microorganisms with an extremely high success
rate, with minimal side effects.
- Observe strict personal hygiene habits.
- Eat cooked food when outside your home.
- Wash fresh fruits and vegetables with soap and water.
- Avoid drinking potentially contaminated surface water.
- Before overseas travel, contact the CDC for tips.
- Restrict pets to designated parts of the home.
- Wash hands after touching pets.
Gastrointestinal Health Panel™
The GI Health Panel™ is a non-invasive screen of the gastrointestinal tract and
its function. It includes 15-22 individual, yet related tests. Stool and saliva
samples are submitted by the patient after home collection.
Logic of Testing
To ensure high sensitivity and specifity of pathogenic organism detection, Diagnos-Techs
employs a variety of methods in the GI Health Panel™ tests. These tests utilize
proven biochemical and state-of-the-art immunological testing and other methods.
The panel includes:
- Pathogen screening for bacteria, fungi, yeast and various parasites.
- Digestion-related screens for enzyme levels and immunochemical markers for intolerance to common offending foods.
- Intestinal function markers to evaluate irritation and inﬂammation; markers indicate overall status of gut immunity
and integrity, such as occult blood.
The GI Health Panel™ strikes a balance between comprehensive screening and economy
by bundling appropriate individual tests that would otherwise cost over $700 at
current prices. All the tests are insurer-reimbursed with the appropriate provider
Advantages and Benefits
- Non-invasive sampling using saliva and stool
- Home collection—No office visit
- Economical and insurance-reimbursable
- Comprehensive—Detects a broad spectrum of common pathogens and includes digestion efficiency evaluation
- Improved wellness—General GI complaints identified and resolved
- Modular—Retesting of one or several abnormal findings is available without repeating the entire panel
Common Applications of this Panel
- Individuals with chronic and vague GI symptoms including:
-Frequent bloating, gas, cramping and constipation
-Frequent travel within US and/or overseas
-Frequent eating outside the home
- People who are exposed to feces through sexual contact
- Food handlers (to protect others)
- Food preparers at restaurants, homes, schools, etc.
- Institutionalized individuals
- Uniformed services
- Dormitory residents
- Children who go to daycare centers
Who Needs the GI Health Panel™?
To determine if the GI Panel™ is appropriate for your gastrointestinal and other
health problems, consult with your healthcare provider.
Get to the bottom of these complaints that keep coming back. No one enjoys heartburn,
bloating or diarrhea.
You don’t have to travel to another country to contract a parasite; they are all
around us, both in big cities, and in small towns.
Using antibiotics without an evaluation to reveal the type of infection can result
in using an inappropriate antibiotic. This can actually strengthen the offending
microbe and make it more difficult and expensive to treat.